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Roman Emperor Hadrian w. Dr. Michael Kulikowski

Hadrian was the first Roman Emperor to have a fully provincial background.  Professor & Head of the Department of History, Penn State University, Dr. Michael Kulikowski, joins the show to discuss Hadrian’s life.

Some topics explored

  • Why Hadrian is considered the first provincial Roman emperor (his family was from what would be modern-day Spain)
  • When and where Hadrian was born
  • The murders of four leading senators that are linked to Hadrian
  • His relationship to senators in Rome
  • His congenial relationship with the 
  • His father (a cousin of Hadrian's predecessor, Roman Emperor Trajan)
  • His education, which included grammar training, rhetoric, learning Greek equestrian, hunting, etc.
  • The languages he learned
  • Trajan's widow, Pompeia Plotina and her influence in Hadrian becoming Emperor
  • Hadrian's reign as emperor
  • How Hadrian was as a military leader
  • How Hadrian was as a politician
  • Hadrian's position on foreign policy
  • The demarcation of Rome at the time that Hadrian became emperor
  • Trajan's family life including his marriage to Vibia Sabina
  • Trajan's sexual preference and male partner Antinous
  • Rome and Greece's customs towards homosexuality
  • What's known about his disposition
  • The circumstances of Hadrian's death
  • His relationship to the Greek world
  • The dynamic, and delicate balance, in Rome in this era between Rome being a monarchy, yet anyone could theoretically become a future emperor
  • The complex succession to Hadrian
  • How Rome changed under Hadrian's rule

Listen to the episode

The episode can be streamed below and is also available on major podcast apps: Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Amazon Music.

Show Notes

Previous article Life of Anna Komnene w. Dr. Leonora Neville
Next article Forming of the Papacy w. Dr Rosamond McKitterick